Lady Soames recalls the unending delight
that painting brought her father,
Winston Churchill

I AM delighted to see this small, but enchanting, book by my father published again, for many people do not fully appreciate the importance of the role painting played in his life.
Winston had already been smitten for about six years by this enthralling - for him - hobby, when he wrote this account of his ‘love affair’ with painting - for indeed, I think that is the only way to describe it - in the two articles he wrote for Strand Magazine in 1921 (which would later in 1948 be published for the first time as Painting as a Pastime). Over forty more years lay ahead of him before he would finally lay aside his brushes and palette in his great old age. ‘Happy are the painters,’ he wrote, ‘for they never shall be lonely: light and colour; peace and hope will keep them company to the end - or almost to the end of the day.’ And these, happily, would prove to be prophetic words for him personally.
Winston found hours of pleasure and occupation in painting - where problems of perspective and colour, light and shade, gave him respite from dark worries, heavy burdens, and the clatter of political strife. And I believe this compelling occupation played a real part in renewing the source of the great inner strength that was his, enabling him to confront storms, ride out depressions, and rise above the rough passages of his political life.
It makes me so happy when, quite often, people tell me that, inspired by my father, they too have started to paint, and found as he did, a different and fulfilling dimension to their lives. Now once more this new, charming edition will be available to a wide public.

–Mary Soames

© 2002 The Lady Soames, D.B.E., and contained as the foreword in the Levenger Press edition of Painting as a Pastime.

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